Loris Baz has confirmed he will return to the United States to compete in the MotoAmerica Superbike series after failing to land a seat on the WorldSBK grid for 2024.
The Frenchman will rejoin Ducati's factory-backed Warhorse HSBK team in the US-based domestic series, three years after competing with the same outfit after being frozen out of the rider market ahead of the 2022 WorldSBK season.
Baz's return will see him paired with Josh Herrin in a two-man effort and resume the challenge both and his successor at Warhorse HSBK - current Barni WorldSBK rider Danilo Petrucci - mounted against MotoAmerica's current dominant figure Jake Gagne on the Attack Performance Yamaha.
"Last year was a tough one with a big injury, and I wanted to come back to America with the same team I had in 2021," said Baz, who notched up nine podiums en route to fourth in the 2021 MotoAmerica standings.
"I have always said the people I met in the Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati squad were the biggest family I made in racing. We kept in contact during my two WorldSBK years with the hope we would see each other again in the future, so the fact this has happened makes me happy.
“I am back training 100 percent now without any pain in my ankle, and I am really looking forward to seeing all the American fans again. I have kept in touch with many of them since I last competed in MotoAmerica. It’s going to be a great season!”
A career re-reborn in the USA for Loris Baz?
Baz arrives back in the United States after a difficult two seasons with the Bonovo Racing BMW team in WorldSBK.
The Frenchman - who headed stateside when his Ten Kate Racing team dropped out of WorldSBK at the end of 2020 - had originally planned on continuing in the United States beyond 2021.
However, he'd reignite interest in his services when he was called up to substitute for the injured Chaz Davies on the Go Eleven Ducati for two events towards the end of the 2021 WorldSBK season. Going on to score two podiums at Portimao, a bidding war between Go Eleven and BMW ensued for 2022, with Baz eventually choosing the latter on the satellite Bonovo Action bike.
Alas, two disappointing seasons would ensue, particularly in 2023 when he suffered a serious injury when his leg was struck by Alex Lowes' front tyre after erroneously dangling it in the Kawasaki's path under braking.
When BMW announced Toprak Razgatlioglu would be joining it factory team for 2024, it meant Baz's seat would be taken by Scott Redding as team-mate Garrett Gerloff was on a two-year deal.